Berlin’s Best Lakes: From Crowd-Favorites to Hidden Gems

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When summer arrives in Berlin, the city’s residents and visitors flock to its beautiful lakes for a refreshing escape from the urban heat. Whether you’re seeking a family-friendly atmosphere or a lakeside party, Berlin offers a wide range of swimming lakes to suit every mood. From popular favorites to hidden gems, here are our top recommendations for enjoying the splendor of Berlin’s lakes, and the best part is that most of them can be visited without an entrance fee!

One of the most beloved lakes in Berlin is Krumme Lanke in Zehlendorf. This picturesque lake is a hotspot for locals, featuring numerous swimming spots and minimal vegetation. If you prefer a livelier ambiance, head to the southern end of Fischerhüttenstraße, where you can join the sunbathers on the bustling lawn. For a more relaxed experience, explore the 2.8-kilometer path surrounding the lake, offering a tranquil and scenic walk.

For a lakeside adventure that spans Berlin and Brandenburg, visit the Groß Glienicker See in Kladow. This lake played a significant role during the Cold War when it marked the border between East and West Germany. Now, visitors can enjoy its excellent water quality and choose from two official bathing spots: the Moorloch, complete with a sunbathing lawn and lifeguard station, or the Pferdekoppel in the northeast, which offers volleyball courts, playgrounds, and boat rentals. If you prefer a quieter spot, explore the smaller, less crowded areas for a peaceful sunbathing experience.

Jungfernsee in Wannsee is a truly idyllic destination, even for non-swimmers. With two bathing spots available, you can soak up the beauty of this lake. The first spot is located near the Glienicke Bridge, while the second is situated near Cecilenhof Palace and offers sunbathing lawns. However, keep in mind that the northern side of the lake is a nature reserve, restricting access to the water.

Müggelsee in Treptow-Köpenick is a classic and the largest lake in Berlin. Whether you want to sunbathe, swim, or engage in various water sports, this lake has it all. For a luxurious experience, head to Strandbad Friedrichshagen, or visit the beach near the Müggelsee lido. Don’t miss the popular nudist area if you’re inclined to embrace a clothing-optional atmosphere. In September, even if swimming might be too chilly, you can still enjoy the mesmerizing “Feuerzauber auf dem Müggelsee” (Fire Magic on the Muggelsee), where illuminated ships sail across the lake at night.

Nieder Neuendorfer See in Henningsdorf is part of a chain of lakes stretching from central Havel to Berlin. Adjacent to the Nieder Neuendorfer See, you’ll find Heiligensee, which offers a lido with additional amenities. To warm up before taking a swim, embark on a 20-kilometer cycling tour around the lake’s circumference, with bike rentals readily available.

Once infamous for bacterial contamination, Flughafensee in Reinickendorf has since been declared safe for swimming. As a popular FKK spot (nude bathing), the eastern side of the lake provides easy access. To reach this area, you can walk or drive along the JVA Tegel and then venture approximately 500 meters through the forest. However, keep in mind that the north and west shores, densely forested and serving as a bird sanctuary, may not be suitable for swimming.

Orankesee in Alt-Hohenschönhausen may be one of Berlin’s lesser-known lakes.

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